Goncalves can strike again

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: February 16 2013, 8:54 GMT

Our SPL tipster Gareth Friel is backing Kilmarnock to beat Hearts and Esmael Goncalves to score for St Mirren this weekend.

Esmael Goncalves is enjoying a superb run of form
Esmael Goncalves is enjoying a superb run of form

Hearts had a day to forget last Saturday at Tannadice against Dundee United. Not only were they thumped 3-1, they also lost captain Marius Zaliukas to a serious injury and Ryan Stevenson was sent off.

Zaliukas, the captain, is likely to miss the rest of the season while Stevenson, another experienced head in a very young squad, will serve a three-match ban.

This doesn't bode well for the home match with Kilmarnock on Saturday and neither does the Jambos' recent form.

They've won once in 90 minutes in seven games, their only three-point haul of 2013 coming against bottom club Dundee. Having said that, they have won three of their last four at Tynecastle and a lot of credit must go to the youngsters John McGlynn is developing at the club.

Without Zaliukas and Stevenson, Hearts may struggle though and they certainly don't hold much appeal at shades of odds-against against Killie.

The visitors look good value, especially as they will have been buoyed by their late equaliser at Inverness on Wednesday.

Killie haven't lost against Hearts in their last seven meetings while they've won on their last four visits to Gorgie so they must be worth backing at almost 3s.

Last weekend I tipped Esmael Goncalves to score at anytime against Aberdeen and although he and his side drew a blank, I'm happy to back the St Mirren striker again on Saturday.

The Saints face Hibs in Paisley and will be confident of another victory having won three of their last four. They will be rubbing their hands in anticipation if they watched Hibs' dismal 3-1 home defeat to St Johnstone on Monday night.

Defensively, Hibs were a shambles and Goncalves, who has scored four in four, and Steven Thompson could cash in. Goncalves' explosive start to life in Scotland makes the Portuguese a great bet to score at anytime.


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